The Reality of “Workforce 2020”
More than two decades ago, industry researchers and influencers – consultants, universities, the labor census bureau – made bold predictions regarding the massive changes our nation would experience in the next 20 years, referring to the phenomenon as “Workforce 2020”. These thought leaders reported that the labor pool, which was dominated by white males, would become more demographically diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity and age, ultimately, creating a “minority-majority” workforce.
While these demographic projections have very much come to fruition, no one could have imagined the impact that technology would have on employment today, or could have predicted the effect of social, political, and economic influences on workforce models and behaviors. Consider trends such as:
Historic low unemployment. Digital transformation. Skills gaps. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA). Globally connected work communities. Cultural diversity. Gig economy. Millennial workplace demands. Workforce of the future.
To name a few.
These forces are very real and, as a result, are keeping CEOs and CHROs up at night in this tight labor market. In the Conference Board’s C-Suite Challenge 2019™, more than 800 CEOs surveyed reported that talent acquisition and retention was their highest internal concern; while The Hackett Group 2019 CHRO Key Issues Study found that HR leaders have added the ability to address talent and critical skills shortages to their plate of top improvement priorities, but have not been able to give this crucial area the attention it deserves.
The Shift to Modern Talent Acquisition Approaches
As we enter a new decade, these talent challenges will quickly become more profound, since we will quickly move from trends to reality and organizations will feel the financial impact of unhealthy talent pipelines and unfilled critical roles. As HR, Talent and Recruiting professionals, we can no longer depend on the inefficiencies of a linear requisition-to-hire process. In fact, only 6 percent of respondents to the Deloitte 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey believed their recruitment function processes and technologies were best-in-class, while 81% believed they were standard or below standard.
As a result, HR and Talent leaders are entertaining modern approaches to talent acquisition to broaden their talent pools; to better nurture candidate relationships and connect with prospective employees; to shrink the time-to-hire to avoid losing skilled talent to other opportunities and competitors during the recruiting cycle; and to build their employment brands. As organizations compete for the same top talent, their recruiting tactics will need include next-gen execution strategies.
Watch-list of Talent Trends
Some trends to watch out for in 2020 include…
- Alternative interviewing techniques, incorporating live video and on-demand video interview technology to improve speed, quality and the candidate experience
- Recruitment automation to eliminate waste and improve processes and productivity such as screening, scheduling, and feedback loops
- Collaborative recruiting to identify candidates via a combination of traditional and new sources that build talent networks and communities to sustain a healthy and diverse pipeline
- Online structured interviews to accelerate interviewer competence and consistency, while ensuring equity in the process
- Blended workforce models, including accessing freelance talent, to allow for efficient scaling up and down
- Personal assistants and chatbots that create an on-demand, personalized candidate experience
With the war for talent at its all-time peak, it is not enough to simply refresh existing processes; it is time for organizations to reinvent their talent acquisition strategies. By leveraging modern tools and technologies, recruiting organizations can identify, access, and engage the right talent with speed and agility.
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